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'Roddy will have Derry fired up as the champions are coming to town' - Mark Quigley

The St Patrick’s Athletic striker is expecting a stern test from the winless Candystripes.

Roddy Collins has not had the best of starts in Derry.
Roddy Collins has not had the best of starts in Derry.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

WE DROVE STRAIGHT back from The Showgrounds after losing 2-0 to Sligo Rovers in the Setanta Cup semi-final. We arrived in Dublin about 1:30am and were back in, for training, at 10:30am. The Monday and Tuesday cup games have made it a hectic start to the season but it should start to pay off soon.

We felt the better team, in terms of possession, at half-time against Sligo but all we created were half chances and nearly things. It would have been a good result to have got away with a 1-0 loss as we were down to 10-men — James Chambers was red-carded in the second-half — but Danny North got his second. It was a nightmare for us — that goal — and it proved a killer blow.

I was close to James’ tackle, which earned him a yellow card. From seeing it live I felt it was a one-footed, strong tackle that won the ball. The type of tackle you would want your midfielder to win. A couple of lads saw it on the telly after and said he may have dived in. It was a shame he was sent off as, I think, he went for the ball and didn’t go in to do the other player. The Sligo lads were around the referee trying to get him sent off.

I had one chance in the second half and hit a snap-shot volley over. I thought the ref would blow for handball so I just took a pop but I should have played the whistle and, perhaps, picked a spot. Still, we’ve got the second leg and 90 minutes of football back at our place. It is a semi-final of a cup so I am sure we will have a good crowd along at Richmond Park. An early goal for us could change everything. We have too many good players not to make Sligo worry a bit.

Keith [Fahey] is due a scan on his leg but I’m not sure if the Derry City game will come too soon for him. We have missed him and Kenny Browne, and a couple of others, in the first few weeks of the season. It would be good to get them back and give the manager a selection headache.

Seamus Conneely with Mark Quigley Quigley tackles Seamus Conneely of Sligo. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

I heard about the Stuey Byrne column where he said Christy Fagan and myself might have problems linking up. If Christy was the same type of player as myself, I might agree. He is completely different, though, and a proper No.9. He holds the ball up well and stretches defences. I like to drop out to receive the ball and play that support role. We can definitely get a good partnership going.

The manager, Liam Buckley, has told me that he sees me playing in one of five attacking positions — lone striker, supporting striker, in a midfield three or out on left or right wing — and it is just a matter of finding where I am best suited. It is great that he has that faith in me but hopefully I can play a few more games up front with Christy and prove my worth there.

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[Shamrock Rovers captain] Karl Sheppard also came out, in a recent interview, with a few words against players that had left the club in the off season. I think some of the papers and media were trying to twist his words and direct it at me but I was one of 15 players to leave the club. I don’t think Karl was talking about me. He may have been talking about lads having a go at the dressing room [atmosphere] but why should players not be open about that? If there is a problem, say it. I think someone at the club may have put him up to coming out and declaring everything was now great, which is poor form by them.

Any of the Rovers lads would tell you, in my season with the club there was no ego there. Of course I wanted to be playing more but I never went into the manager and demanded to play or argued with any teammates. I left on good terms with [Hoops chairman] Jonathan Roche and [general manager] Noel Byrne. I didn’t leave on good terms with the boss, Trevor Croly, as I never spoke with him before I left but I have no problems with the club.

Roddy to roll

We have Derry at the Brandywell this evening and, in my eight seasons with the club, it has never been an easy place to go. I have never gone there expecting to win but if my club ever got a draw or win, we would leave delighted. We haven’t won in two games now — we should have beaten Limerick — and we need a positive result.

This will be a really tough match and [City boss] Roddy Collins will have them fired up. Everyone wants to beat the champions when they come to town. They are under the cosh already as they have not won yet. No league, or manager, is immune from that instant pressure that kicks in after one or two bad results.

Derry have a few good players — Danny Ventre is a great signing and Rory Patterson always gets you goals. I expect them to be there or thereabouts by the end of the season. So, if we can get a draw or a win up there, put them under more pressure and lay down a marker, it will be a good end to a week of long travelling.

Mark Quigley has scored over 70 goals in more than 280 League of Ireland matches. A winner of the 2012 Airtricity Player of the Year, he is now in his second spell with@stpatsfc

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About the author:

Mark Quigley  / St Patrick's athletic footballer

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